Nepal: Our response to incorrect information in Swedish daily
On April 21, a Swedish daily reported that Telia Company had received claims from the tax authority in Nepal. The information is incorrect, this does not concern a claim but a request to submit a tax return regarding the divestment of the shares in Ncell. This is how we respond:
The information in Svenska Dagbladet 21 April is incorrect, this does not concern a claim. Telia Company has received a letter from the tax authority in Nepal with a request to submit a tax return regarding the divestment of the shares in Ncell. Our Norwegian company, which is jointly owned with Visor, as the seller has answered the letter stating that such tax return should not to be filed since the transaction is not subject to tax in Nepal.
It is important for Telia Company to handle business in a correct and responsible way and to pay correct tax according to legislation in the multiple countries in which we are present. This view has also guided us in our responsible divestment of our ownership in Nepal. When TeliaSonera entered Nepal in 2008, it was Ncell’s parent company Reynolds Holdings Limited which was for sale and when we now exit we do so by selling our holding in the same company to Axiata.
Nevertheless, in the event a tax claim in Nepal would be presented, such risk, as well as other important commercial issues and risks are covered in the agreement between us and Axiata. In this case this means that the exposure of Telia Company regarding tax claims is limited. It can also be noted that since closing of the transaction with Axiata on 11 April, Telia Company no longer has any assets remaining in Nepal.
Within Telia Company we are proud of having established Ncell as a successful company having more than 12 million customers and today being Nepal’s most significant tax payer. We are convinced that we have made a correct assessment fully in line with the tax legislation in Nepal. It is based on a thorough analysis in which we have received support from advisors both locally in Nepal as well as in other countries.